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Lucas v. State

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Eastern District, First Division

December 23, 2014

ROBIN LUCAS, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF MISSOURI, Respondent

Page 337

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 338

Appeal from the Circuit Court of St. Francois County. Hon. Kenneth W. Pratte.

Gwenda Renee Robinson, St. Louis, MO, for appellant.

Chris Koster, Todd T. Smith, Jefferson City, MO, for respondent.

CLIFFORD H. AHRENS, Judge. Lawrence E. Mooney, P.J., and Lisa Van Amburg, J., concur.

OPINION

Page 339

CLIFFORD H. AHRENS, Judge

Robin Lucas (" Movant" ) appeals from the judgment of the motion court that denied her amended motion for post-conviction relief pursuant to Rule 24.035 without an evidentiary hearing. We affirm in part and modify in part.

Viewed in the light most favorable to the judgment, the facts are as follows. In April 2011, Movant shot and killed Thomas Triplett, Jr. After shooting Triplett, Movant called 911 and informed them of the events. Sometime thereafter Movant was taken into custody and Mirandized. After being informed of her Miranda rights, Movant gave a statement to the police in which she confessed to killing Triplett.

The State originally charged Movant by indictment with one count of murder in the first degree and one count of armed criminal action. Pursuant to a plea agreement, the State filed a substitute information that charged Movant with murder in the second degree and dropped the armed criminal action count. The State also agreed to dismiss some pending drug charges and to request a sentence of life imprisonment to run concurrently with any sentences for which Movant currently was serving time.

The plea court and the attorneys discussed the details of the plea bargain at the plea hearing. The plea court questioned Movant and plea counsel to determine whether or not her guilty plea was made knowingly, voluntarily, and intelligently. Movant testified that plea counsel had represented her from the beginning of the case, and that she had discussed her case with him approximately 15 times for about 20 hours. She stated that plea counsel had investigated her case to her full satisfaction and interviewed all of the witnesses that she knew of. Movant further averred that plea counsel had done everything that she had asked him to do for the case, and had not refused to do anything for her that she thought should be done. She told the plea court that she had made a confession and incriminating statements to the police. Plea counsel explained that Movant made some statements to the police when she was not in custody, namely during the 911 call when she reported the shooting to the police, and that she was not Mirandized then. When the police took her into custody, she made additional statements after she was Mirandized. Plea counsel told the plea court that he had advised Movant of her right to try to suppress her statements to the police, and that she was waiving that right. The plea court questioned Movant about this issue, and she replied that plea counsel had stated things correctly, that she had discussed the matter with him, and did not want to file any motion to suppress.

The plea court questioned Movant further about pleading guilty and about her legal representation as follows:

Plea court: Do you think that you have had sufficient opportunity to discuss the case with your attorney before you plead guilty?
Movant: Yes.

Page 340

Plea court: Have all defenses available to you been discussed and explained to your full ...

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